Wednesday, November 28, 2018

What did Donald Trump do today?

He promised to expose government secrets, if Democrats tried to investigate him.

Today, Trump told the New York Post that he would declassify law enforcement secrets if and only if Democrats in Congress tried to investigate whether he conspired with Russia's sabotage of the 2016 election:
If they go down the presidential harassment track, if they want go and harass the president and the administration, I think that would be the best thing that would happen to me. I’m a counter-puncher and I will hit them so hard they’d never been hit like that. ...I think that would help my campaign. If they want to play tough, I will do it. They will see how devastating those pages are.
The documents Trump has identified as somehow supposedly "devastating" to Democrats include FISA warrants, which federal law enforcement uses to surveil foreign intelligence targets. They are almost always highly classified, because they contain information about how the United States government conducts its counterespionage operations.

Trump has flirted with this idea before, and in September he ordered carefully selected portions of the FISA warrant against his foreign policy advisor Carter Page released. (Page was almost certainly a Russian dupe, if not actively collaborating in their efforts to infiltrate the Trump campaign.)

Trump has never specified why the supposed documents would be so "devastating," or—even if they were—how that would exonerate him.

Why should I care about this?

  • Presidents shouldn't hold their own government hostage.
  • The security of the United States is more important than Donald Trump's criminal defense.
  • "Other people also did bad things" is not a legitimate criminal defense.